He maintains his wife simply disappeared in the night 17 years ago, leaving behind her two children, all her belongings and her much-loved husband of less than two years.
But a judge has acknowledged there is a "viable" case to prove Steven Fesus strangled his wife before burying her in a shallow beachside grave and denying it for almost two decades until an alleged confession last year.
Mr Fesus, 43, had a last-ditch application for bail refused in the Supreme Court on Friday with Justice Robert Hulme finding that the case against him "certainly can't be described as weak", despite his clean criminal record and the fact he has stayed in the same south coast suburb ever since, raising the pair's two children and participating in 15 police interviews, including one that went for 16 hours.
Jodie Fesus' body was found a month after she disappeared from their Mount Warrigal home in Wollongong in 1997 but it wasn't until July this year that detectives arrested Mr Fesus at a hotel in The Rocks, just one week after their daughter Kimberley, 18, had made a public appeal for information.
He claims he went to bed on the night of August 8, 1997, and woke to find his wife missing. She was still dressed in her nightie when her body was found.
"But what was the explanation for her going missing?" Justice Hulme asked on Friday.
He said it was "most unlikely" that Mrs Fesus would "up and leave without taking anything with her" including her children. There was also no evidence of an intruder.
An inquest and numerous police investigations over the years had been unable to reach a conclusion but it's believed an alleged confession last year was the final piece of the puzzle.
"It would be well open to a jury to regard the demeanour of [Mr Fesus] as supporting the genuineness of the confession," Justice Hulme said in refusing Mr Fesus bail.
He also noted that there was a strong "circumstantial case", including strange questions Mr Fesus asked in the days after Mrs Fesus' body was discovered.
Before police had formally identified the woman found in a shallow grave, Mr Fesus allegedly called the morgue asking if he could see his wife Jodie's body.
He allegedly asked whether the deceased had been strangled and, if he accidentally rolled on top of his wife in bed, whether his fingerprints could be on her neck.
Despite what Justice Hulme described as a strong case, the Fesus' daughter Kimberley and son Dylan, 17, have stood by their father and say he didn't kill their mother.